James Simpson: Pioneer Citizen of Portsmouth

James Simpson, one of the veterans pioneers of the city, died at two o’clock this morning at his residence 650 Gallia street, after a long illness with asthma and bronchial troubles. Deceased was the son of John and Mary Simpson, and was born born November 19, 1819, on a farm, located on what is not the Scioto County children’s home, and where his parents died some years later. He was early apprenticed to the carpenter trade, and followed it all his life with the exception of a few years, when he was in charge of the Cuppett & Webb lumber yard east of the Times office. He engaged in contracting, and carried this on successfully for a number of years, many substantial structures still remaining as evidence of his handicraft. He was known as an honest man, and, as such, did honest and good work.”

Map of 1868 Portsmouth, Ohio. The property indicated as the Scioto County Infirmary Farm was once the homestead of John and Mary Simpson.

“He was married in this city in March 1839, to Eliza Jane Lewis and only two months ago, celebrated his sixtieth wedding anniversary, numerous friends calling at the old home, and in addition to congratulating the venerable couple, left many tokens of their kind regards. He was a member of the Methodist church for fully sixty-five years; having in his boyhood days, attended the old Spencer chapel (now Bigelow) was a charter member of the choir organize there. Being a great admirer of Reverend CC McCabe1, he transferred his membership to Sixth street church, living as he did for many years on Market street. Some years ago he removed to his present residence on Gallia street in the East End, and here associated himself with Manly chapel.”

In addition to his widow two children survive, Mrs. Thomas T. Yeager2, and Mrs. WW Donaldson34, three having died, one boy in infancy, William, who was killed in the Anderson four mill fire and Thomas known as ‘Model Tom,’ who was for years in the fire department.”

“Of seven sisters and five brother but one brother remains, Leonard, the well-known carpenter who makes his home on East Eleventh street.”

“Deceased was one of the charter members of Scioto Lodge of Odd Fellows, having become a member on October 8, 1845. He filled all the chairs. The funeral will take place Sunday at 2 PM from Manley chapel, Revered HB Cooper officiating. Interment in Greenlawn.5

  1. Reverend Charles C McCabe
  2. Elnora Simpson
  3. William Worth Donaldson
  4. Margaret Jane Simpson
  5. Pioneer Citizen Died at His Home on Gallia Street. (1899, June 2). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 7.